A GROUP of West Hill residents has banded together to campaign against the introduction of communal rubbish bins.
West Hill Against Communal Bins (WHAC) wants to ensure that residents are properly consulted about any changes in their area.
Hastings Borough Council’s (HBC) contract for refuse collection is coming up for renewal, and in 2013, the proposal is to move to a joint waste contract with three other councils in East Sussex, in order to reduce costs.
Over time, the council will then be looking into various options for improving waste collection in Hastings, and making it more cost effective.
Mike Smith, of Plynlimmon Road, and chairman of WHAC, said: “We would welcome any open dialogue with HBC officers, and councillors.
“I do think that HBC has to realise there is a local strength of feeling against communal bins.
“The only form of communication between HBC and the residents is via the Castle Ward Forum and the West Hill Residents’ Association.”
In the interim period, the council is also looking into ways in which improvements might be made within current collection methods, by way of Waste Advisory Groups.
In the Castle ward this includes exploring the option of seagull-proof bags, and looking at extending the trial of OSCAR bins (smaller communal bins) into further streets including the West Hill area.
Council leader Cllr Jeremy Birch said: “If it was clear that some additional method was not wanted then residents need not have it.”
He added that it would be possible to consult residents on a street by street basis, on proposed small changes on their street.
Cllr Birch emphasised for the remainder of the current refuse collection contract, any resident who currently has a black bin bag collected, will continue to do so.
He added: “In 2013, we will go into a waste contract collecting rubbish exactly as we do now. It will be some time before any changes are seen.”
WHAC is also concerned that any waste collection solutions will also increase recycling rates.
Nick Perry, Liberal Democrat campaigner and resident of Manor Road, said: “There is no evidence that having communal bins does anything to increase recycling rates, actually the opposite is the case.
“There needs to be a proper meaningful consultation, if they are intending to change methods of collection and recycling.”
To contact WHAC email firstname.lastname@example.org or search for ‘West Hill Against Communal Bins’ on Facebook.